Archive for the ‘Samuel’ Tag

None of His Words Fell to the Ground   Leave a comment

Dreams from the Lord 2011-2021

2 April 2021

This morning I was listening to my audio Bible and I fell asleep.  I had a dream where I was with Mark Taylor, the prophet from Florida.  We were in a big room in this basement and we were throwing the football to each other.  I noticed that, when Mark threw the football, it was a perfect, tight spiral.  When I threw the football, at first, I used my right arm, but I threw a wobbly spiral because I had a sore right arm.  (The first week of January, I injured my right shoulder and it has been sore since that time.  It is healing, but very slowly.)  Then I used my left arm and threw the football; I threw it a bit better, but it was still a bit wobbly.  When we threw the football, we always caught the football–it never fell to the ground, which reminds me of this verse:

I Samuel 3:19-20:  “And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.  And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.”

The fact that Mark Taylor was throwing perfect, tight spirals means that his prophecies concerning President Trump are right on target.

This dream means that Mark Taylor and myself are on the same wavelength.

About my sore right shoulder:  it might be prophetic and it reminds me of this scripture:

Genesis 32:24-25:  “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.”

The Trump Prophecies

Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel

The Ark of God   Leave a comment

The Ark of God – Leonard Ravenhill

I Samuel 5:1-5: “And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Eben-ezer unto Ashdod.  When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.  And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.”

II Samuel 6:6-11: “And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day. And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me? So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.

The Cost of Idleness   3 comments

china1

[19 November 2012]

By Lori Rodeheaver

Between dozing, I caught bits and pieces of the Steeler game last night and wondered how on earth the people in attendance go to work in the morning.  There’s no way I could stay out half the night partying and then be able to wake up and be worth anything the next day.

I began to think of all the laziness that goes on both inside and outside the workplace today in America.  Many Americans have truly lost a good work ethic, and even if they have one, their children often certainly don’t.

I began to think about just how valuable it is to be teaching my very interested daughter, Mia, some preliminary things about the Chinese language.  Who knows where we’ll be in 20 years, right?

And don’t get me wrong, I am as guilty as any American.  We like recreation.  We think we deserve it.  Let’s face it, we’re spoiled rotten.

Anyway, as I read 1 Samuel 13, I found some interesting consequences of foolishness and laziness when it comes to conflict and work.

Read 1 Samuel 13:15-23.

And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin… So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. ~1 Samuel 13:15a, 22

Saul has just been rejected by God.  Because of Saul’s foolishness, the prophet Samuel left him to himself.  Samuel pronounces God’s judgement and nothing more.  Samuel pronounces God’s judgement and then he leaves.

Those of us who err by continuing to speak when the Truth is clearly rejected would do well to learn from Samuel’s actions here.

Furthermore, God’s people had become dependent on the enemy.  They had no smiths among them to forge weapons of any kind.  They thought it easier to go to the world and to the ungodly for whatever they needed by way of tools and weapons.

But entrusting ourselves wholly to those who have not our best interests in mind is foolish.  Wisdom teaches us that if we’ve a choice between hard work resulting in independence vs. laziness resulting in dependence, we would do well to strive for the former.  Idle hands enslave men and bring us to poverty.

Therefore, we find the Israelites remaining in a state of fear and poverty.  Because they rebelliously rejected God’s true prophet, they lacked direction and wisdom.  Because of their laziness and lack of vigilance, they lacked weapons of war.

And it wasn’t just this sin that led to their sad state.  The leader they had rebelliously and disobediently chosen to follow was just as foolish as they were.  Not only did he not wait on God’s prophet for the help he so desperately needed, but neither did he gather the weapons from the Ammorites he had previously defeated for his troops.  What commander -in-chief would pass up an arsenal full of weapons when his own army had none?  There is no excuse for such foolish slothfulness.

So we find that it was not their circumstances that found God’s people in a bad way.  It was their sin that had led to their demise.  The enemy always dispirits before he disarms.  Let us be wise to his schemes.  How?

We must listen to God’s Word spoken through his people.  We must be vigilant and do the hard and tiring work necessary to win our spiritual battles, including prayer, bible study, and honest fellowship.  Even as we are often tempted, we must avoid the lazy, cheep, no-sacrifices-required false gospels so prevalent in our day.  We must follow good and godly leaders.  Finally, we must never blame the poor spiritual state we find ourselves in on external circumstances.  Instead, we must ever-recognize our spiritual poverty as the result of nothing more than our own sin and slothfulness.

Keeping all these things in mind, we must march out to battle in faith, fighting hard, knowing we’ve no earthly advantages, no entitlement to victory, and no reason to receive grace apart from God’s great mercy.  Then, God will be glorified through our helplessness and his great salvation.  Amen.

A Prophet’s Eyes
Jackson, Wyoming
Goodbye, Las Vegas
Everyday Encounters with the Creator

Posted January 6, 2013 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

Red Light, Green Light   3 comments

light

By Lori Rodeheaver

At Christmastime, red and green usually make their way into every household.  I don’t know the origin of these seasonal colors but I do know what they mean out on the road.  Maybe it’s because Christmas is so busy…green means go as fast as you can and get everything done and red means stop and remember why you’re doing it all.  Because we are all on the road…somewhere.

Well, what if God tells you to stop when you’re going?  What if he tells you to go when you’re stopping?  Either your gas pedals need a mechanic or your reflexes need a doctor.  Let’s see what happens to Samuel when God stops his going and goes his stopping.

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” ~1 Samuel 16:1

Saul has been wholly rejected by God.  Samuel is through dealing with his rebellion, too, yet he continues grieving over the situation and the loss of his friend.  But God reproves him saying, “How long will you grieve over Saul…”

God is like, “Get over it, Sam.  This isn’t your world, it’s mine.  I choose who will be accepted and who will be rejected.  If I have no affections for this guy, neither should you.  Forget him and go where I tell you to go.  I have a new plan for you.”

See, God had chosen a new king for himself.  The people had chosen Saul, whom God rejected.  But God chose David.  And if Samuel kept groveling over his rejected friend, he’d never get to the place where he could be used in the service of the new king – God’s king.  Samuel needed to bury the past and put God’s and God’s people’s interests ahead of his own sadness.  As difficult as it was for Samuel, God insisted that it was time to move on.

Samuel answers God’s reproof this way:

And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” ~1 Samuel 16:2-3

Apparently, Saul had gotten even worse.  How much more wicked and hardened to the things of God must he have been if Samuel himself – the one who had shown him the most kindness and mercy of all – felt the threat of murder if he dare usurp his kingship and inaugurate someone in his stead?!

Not only does Samuel’s response suggest Saul’s continued moral decline, it also implies weakness in his own faith in God’s protection and provision.  One can hardly blame the old man, though.

It’s not that God hadn’t protected and provided for him all of his days.  It’s just that, as the years went on, he became more and more unpopular.  I mean, he’d lived his entire life in God’s service and always seemed to have to be the one to be the bearer of the bad news.  He’d watched as God rejected Eli’s household, and, now, Saul’s.  Every leader this guy dealt with went down!  Think of them all: Hophni, Phinehas, Eli, Saul, Agag.

I can imagine that Samuel was tired of being the bad guy.  He probably wonders if this new king will have to be impeached by him, too.  How many enemies should one man have to have, right?  And how many does it take before they form an alliance and destroy the trifling old truth-teller?

Samuel was faithful, but he was also fearful.  He had been given great responsibility by God and little encouragement by people.  (They replaced him with a donkey-chaser, remember?)  In order to be who God had called him to be, Samuel had to trust greatly in God’s providence.

So God, in his grace, reassures Samuel.  He leads him step by step toward the goal.  And anyone who desire to do God’s work, God’s way, must trust and believe that he will patiently lead them one step at time – even when they are at a loss and it’s hard to know exactly which way to go or what to do next.

Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.~1 Samuel 16:4-5

Samuel never faltered.  He obeyed God even when he was broken and scared.  He brought a sacrifice and humbly approached those to whom he was called.  And the people were scared of him!  Little wonder, huh?  This poor guy’s got a bad reputation for doing God’s dirty-work!  And, doubtless, the ones he’s called to are no less sinful than the ones before.  ”Guilt causes fear,” says Matthew Henry.  No one wants Samuel coming around because no one wants to be accountable.  Not only that, what if Saul hears of it?  Who wants to make friends with the king’s enemies?  People who fear people fear even more people of God.

Samuel reassures them, though.  He asks them to sanctify themselves and prepare for the sacrifice.  In this Christmas season, perhaps we ought to do the same.

If God says it’s time to stop grieving over an unrepentant friend, stop.  If God says it’s time to go somewhere new, go.  Let go of those whom God has clearly rejected and fear not their reprisals against you.  There is a new king waiting for your sacrifice.  Consecrate yourself and be ready for his revelation.

Everyday Encounters with the Creator

 

Posted December 18, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

When Ministry Comes to an End   2 comments

end

By Lori Rodeheaver

Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel. ~1 Samuel 15:34-35

Here, we find that the prophet Samuel is finished dealing with Saul – at least on a human level.  They part ways and never again does Samuel go to advise or restore  him to the truth.  Never.  Why?

It seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it?  I mean, clearly, from the wise old prophet’s standpoint, Saul was still in desperate need of his help.  But Samuel offered no more help.  He offered no more advise.  He gave no more instructions to this man – ever.  Yet, he still grieved over Saul.  He still mourned over Saul’s condition.  Doubtless, Samuel still longed for reconciliation and salvation to come to Saul and continued to pray for him.

The reason we find no more interaction between the prophet and Saul is not because Samuel is angry over Saul’s rebellion and stupidity.  It’s not because he is grudge-holding or sinner-snubbing.  It’s because Saul himself had made it overwhelmingly clear that he neither valued nor heeded any of Samuel’s wise advice previously.

Mercy upon mercy had been given to Saul by Samuel.  Directive upon directive had been carefully laid out like a young child’s schoolteacher would offer them – precept upon precept.  Kindness upon kindness.  Prayer upon prayer.  Instruction upon instruction.  But Saul wholly rejected all of it.  He treated every grace given to him as garbage.  None of it mattered to Saul’s proud and selfish heart.  He did his own thing his own way every single day of his life – with or without Samuel’s lectures sounding in his ears.  That wasn’t about to change now. So really, who rejected who?

How does this account square with Christ’s example of reaching out to those in need of spiritual help?  His example to be a friend of sinners?  Especially self-righteous, religious sinners who think they’ve no spiritual lack to need help with?

The truth is that we must always reach out to people in love, as the Lord gives opportunity.  However, the continuation of our extension of God’s wisdom and mercy toward them is really dependent upon their reception of it.  Either they will repeatedly receive the wise counsel of His Word and grow, or they will repeatedly reject it and grow cold.  Clearly, though, there does come a point when we must shake the dust and move on from those who repeatedly reject the truth and insist upon doing their own thing their own way every day.  As much as it grieves us to depart from those hardened in their sinful state (and it should grieve us), there are times when we must ask ourselves whether we are best using the time God gave us on this earth.  Honestly, how many times can we have the same conversation with someone before we begin to infringe upon their human dignity and right to make their own bad decisions in life?

Just because we part ways with an unrepentant friend, it doesn’t mean we have stopped loving them.  It doesn’t mean we don’t mourn over them.  It just means that we’ve accepted their repeated rejection of truth.  It means we respect them enough as a person to stop preaching a gospel they damn themselves by trampling.

As Matthew Henry said, “We must mourn for the rejection of sinners, though we withdraw from them and dare not converse familiarly with them, and, though they do not mourn for themselves.”

Samuel wasn’t harsh.  He was broken.  He knew nothing he could do or say would change the hardened mind of this unbeliever.  He knew because he had already done and said everything he possibly could have that should have produced change.  He chalked this one up to the sovereignty of God and left it at that.

Sometimes its wise to preach the gospel.  Sometimes it’s just as wise not to.

Everyday Encounters with the Creator

_____

A couple of comments of mine:

This is excellent. We aren’t here to beat a dead horse.

Back in 1990, I gave a testimony to the Assembly of God in Ames, Iowa. This was the SECOND time that I gave this testimony in six months. I said something like, “I would like to thank the Lord for casting hundreds of demons out of my body.” That testimony was rejected by Pastor Gary Pilcher and probably half the congregation. Immediately, the Lord told me to take off my shoes and shake the dust from my shoes in the sight of that congregation. I didn’t do it because I felt sorry for Pastor Pilcher.

Later, as I walked out of that church, Pastor Pilcher told me that my testimony glorified Satan. When Pastor Pilcher said that, he blasphemed the Holy Ghost. Pastor Pilcher will never get saved–he reminds me of King Saul. Pastor Pilcher is now the assistant superintendent for the Assemblies of God in central Iowa (Des Moines). Birds of a feather flock together.

I went to that church for two more Sundays and then never went back. The last Sunday I was in that church I was literally shaking in my boots because I thought the Lord was going to kill me–because it was SIN for me to be in that church.

If church people want to reject the power of the Holy Ghost, they are free to do so–but I won’t be there with them.

“Come out from among them and be ye separate.”

_____

Lori: Here is a Scripture that confirms what you said in your post about Samuel never returning to Saul to give him Godly counsel:

“If you return, then I will bring you back; you shall stand before Me; if you take out the precious from the vile, you shall be as My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them” –Jeremiah 15: 19

“Thus Saith the Lord? by John Bevere”
http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2011/02/thus-saith-lord.html

Machetes and the Messiah   6 comments

cross

By Lori Rodeheaver

The self-righteous king, Saul, has finally made an honest confession.  The prophet, Samuel, in turn, showed mercy and prayed for him.  The very next thing Samuel does is quite shocking.  It’s brave, it’s bloody, and it’s barely believable.

Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said,“As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. ~1 Samuel 15:33-34

Samuel calls for King Agag.  King Agag was the leader of the enemies which Saul was commanded, but failed to, destroy completely.

Notice how the enemy responds to Samuel’s invitation.  Agag came “cheerfully.”  So sure and confident that he is going to be fully accepted and met with a good ‘ol boy friendship by those who had spared his life for self-interests.

Agag ain’t scared of these easily deceived followers of God.  He knows if they’re anything like King Saul, they’ll let him slither away unscathed.  Apparently, King Agag doesn’t know the prophet Samuel.  That, or he doubts an old man of peace (Samuel) will harm him any more than a young man of war (Saul) did.

Agag was wrong.  Dead wrong, in fact.  As soon as he arrives, Samuel reminds him of his guilt and then busts out his machete.

What is with this guy?!  Always telling people they’re guilty and dealing God’s wrath!  I guess we all have our gifts…

Anyway, he “hacked Agag to pieces.”  Sounds like somebody’s got anger management and revenge issues, huh?

Not quite.  Here, in this bloody affair, we find Our Savior.

Who prays for we reprobates when we finally come to the end of our excuse making self-justification and offer an honest confession?  Who turns back in mercy after us when we actually admit our wretched guilt?  Who interceded for we scoundrels before bravely calling the king of our enemies to the carpet?   Who hacked that enemy to pieces in a bloody affair by his own two hands?  Who succeeded in killing what we so often disobey God to keep alive?

And the answer is:  JESUS!  Jesus did these things!  He offered mercy when we didn’t deserve it.  He interceded for us and called the enemy out.  He showed up and destroyed what we were unable and unwilling to destroy alone – sin.  He won the bloody war single-handedly but is known as the Prince of Peace.  We use peace-keeping as an excuse not to fight the Enemy but are  so obviously men of  self-preserving war.

Samuel’s wasn’t a hatemonger.  His machete foreshadowed the cross…where Christ was willing to be hacked to pieces for the sake of fulfilling God’s righteous commands…because he knew we weren’t willing and that we wouldn’t fulfill them.

What a Savior.

Everyday Encounters with the Creator

 

Posted December 14, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

Rejects   4 comments

Lori and her dad in Tiananmen Square, 1991

Here is a post by Lori Rodeheaver from the blog Everyday Encounters with the Creator:

In grade school, if you had looked up the term, “reject” in the dictionary, you’d likely have found my picture.  My dad was kind of hippie-like and my mom, well, my mom was just different I guess.  So, I was kind of a loner.  And I was quite happy being me until about the fifth grade…when the other kids starting taking notice of my funny clothes and lack of friends at recess.  Up until then, being me didn’t really bother me.  I liked being alone in Loriland, reading books and navigating monkey-bars by myself.  I liked my funny clothes.  Come to think of it, I still do.

Anyway, I’m glad I had a chance to grow into who I was instead of who my peers told me to be.  Because when you don’t have any friends, it’s much easier not to put too much stake in their ideas.  The flip-side is that you kind of learn not to put too much stake in anyone else’s ideas.  Our strengths are our weaknesses I guess.

Well, as I read 1 Samuel 14, I found a couple rejects of my own.  Only these guys weren’t rejected by their peers.  They were rejected by their God.  Ironically, when we strive to not be rejected by man, we often put ourselves in a place where we will both reject, and, be rejected by, God.  Let’s investigate this passage…

One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave at Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men, including Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people did not know that Jonathan had gone. Within the passes, by which Jonathan sought to go over to the Philistine garrison, there was a rocky crag on the one side and a rocky crag on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. The one crag rose on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba. ~1 Samuel 14:1-5

In just the short time since becoming king, Saul had already made some pretty severe mistakes.  So severe, in fact, that God had already rejected him as king.

He had sent home troops he needed for battle out of pride and self-sufficiency.  After he attacked his fiercest enemy, he stood around trumpet-blowing and trying to gather them back.  He lacked courage and leadership when the army he did have became fearful and started deserting.  He usurped both God and the prophet Samuel’s authority by being impatient and offering sacrifices he wasn’t fit to offer.  Saul was chock-full of pride and self-reliance.

For this reason, God had already rejected Saul as his king.  It seems that others had done the same.  Now, of the 3,000 soldiers he had chosen, only 600 remained.  Worse yet, even his own son, Jonathan, exhibits great distrust and lack of confidence in his leadership.  1 Samuel 14 gives us some insight as to when it is appropriate to stop following a foolish leader.

One day Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. ~1 Samuel 14:1

Why would Jonathan embark upon a risky and dangerous military expedition without informing his father…who just so happened to be his commander-in-chief?  Was he being prideful and self-reliant like his father?  Was this another case of usurping of proper authority?  Or was it something else?

Likely, it was because God was Jonathan’s commander-in-chief.  Jonathan had seen and experienced first-hand quite enough of his father’s foolishness.  Jonathan was brave and he trusted in God’s promises, calling the enemies “uncircumcised.” (v6)  He knew his advantage was in God, not man.  Therefore, he thought it wise not to consult his man-fearing father before the battle.  And he was right.

Go figure.  Daddy is foolish for usurping authority and little Jonny is wise when he does the same thing…because it isn’t the same thing.  The circumstances are vastly different.  It’s the difference between homicidal killing and soldier combat killing.  This kind of contrast proves how extremely important discernment is when following God.

Meanwhile, we find his father, King Saul, spoken of as having Ahijah among him, who was wearing an ephod.

Ahijah was a descendant of Eli.  Eli’s house had been rejected by God because of sin and disobedience, remember?  Yet Saul has one of Eli’s descendants, who is dressed in priestly garments, hanging around to help him determine the Lord’s will.  That’s what ephod’s were used for, after all.

All this, after he had disregarded the instructions of both God and his true prophet, Samuel.  Not to mention the fact that the true prophet had also been wholly rejected by the people following him.

Oh!  How the ungodly love to gather false prophets and smooth talkers around their tables and trust in external shows of religion!  They reject the hard, plain words of the true ministers of God and listen only to those who tickle their ears with and easy and cost-less message!

So it’s no surprise to find Saul and Ahijah hanging out together, is it?  The rejected king and the rejected priest have so deceived themselves in pride and self-sufficiency that they continue to honor one another instead of God and His Word.

Jonathan did the right thing by trusting in God rather than his man-fearing father…even though his man-fearing father was his earthly authority.  When the rubber meets the road and we have to make a decision between obeying our earthly authorities vs. obeying Our Heavenly Authority, we had better make certain we choose the latter.  True blessing and victory cannot come from the former if they are in opposition to the Lord’s will.

Next, we’ll see how God blesses Jonathan for his courage and wisdom.  For now, let’s consider how we might honor God by rejecting leaders who have rejected him and His Word.  If God has rejected someone as a leader, let’s recognize that we would do well to stop following them.  Let’s cease to worry about being rejected by men and focus only upon pleasing God.

It’s really not bad here in Loriland, anyway.  Sometimes lonely, but always an adventure.

Everyday Encounters with the Creator

Posted November 22, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

Don’t Be An Ass   Leave a comment

Here is a post by Lori Rodeheaver from the blog Everyday Encounters with the Creator:

Read 1 Samuel 9.

The people of God have demanded a king.  They have rejected both God and his true prophet.  Now, God gives them over to their own lusts.  He is about to deliver just the kind of guy they were asking for.

Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.And the asses of Kish Saul’s father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. ~1 Samuel 9:1-3

We are introduced to Saul by his external qualities alone.  He is tall, handsome, wealthy, and of good estate.  This guy is an absolute feast for the superficial eyes of the rebellious Israelites.  If they had one, this would be their poster child.

But what of wisdom?  Faith?  Inner strength?

Because the people did not concern themselves with such things, neither would God when selecting a king fitted to their lusts.

Funny, Saul comes looking for a bunch of asses.  Look no further, Saul, Samuel’s got a whole tabernacle full for ya.

And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses, and take thought for us.And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. ~1 Samuel 9:5-8

Although it is commendable that Saul has concern for his father, as well as his father’s donkeys, it is shameful that he had no concern for the things of God.  He didn’t even know that there was a very well-known man of God in the city where he was.  Neither did he know that true prophets did not take money in exchange for their true words.  While he had a genuine concern for his own family, he seemed to have no concern for the family of God.

Tomorrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.17 And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer’s house is. ~1 Samuel 9:15-18

Samuel already knew Saul was coming.  So sensitive to God’s Word, Samuel had heard the Lord speak the day before Saul arrived and, again, just as Saul approached.

Notice how Samuel did not have to arrange the details of this meeting.  He didn’t have to go out looking for a king or schedule any duels among the fittest men.  He needed only to pray.  God alone providentially ordained this meeting and this man.

And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me today, and tomorrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart.20 And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father’s house?21 And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? ~1 Samuel 9:19-21

The first thing Samuel does is reassure Saul about his father’s lost donkeys.  He gives Saul a spoiler about what is about to take place.  Humbled, Saul begins to question what the meaning of this could possibly be.

This had to be quite a trip for Saul.  One minute he’s out looking for donkeys, the next he’s eating a choice meal and a prophet is reading his thoughts!

And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God. ~1 Samuel 9:27

Samuel tells Saul to stop.  He bids him wait.  There is much more to tell.  The Word of God must be revealed to him thoroughly.

Don’t be an ass.  Seek leaders based on internal qualities, not external.  Be sensitive to God’s voice and leading in the process.  Remember that He ordains all men who rise to leadership – good or bad.  Urge those within your sphere of influence to stop and wait.  Reveal God’s Word thoroughly and make Him known among the nations.

Everyday Encounters with the Creator